Blog Archives

Men did astonishing things at which one did not wonder till after

I hated history at school. It seemed to be nearly all battles, maps with arrows showing troop movements and then failed treaties. To a 1960s teenager, history only went to prove that Bob Dylan was right to cry ‘how many

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Posted in History, Yorkshire

A shove in the right direction

It was only a gentle shove but my mother’s hand in the small of my back was enough to get my five-year-old legs tottering down the path to the door of Blackham School before I could have second thoughts and

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Posted in My Life

Reflections on reaching the 15th tee

The deaths within a week of David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glenn Frey hit me, as my dad used to say, like a sack of spuds. It wasn’t just that we had lost three outstanding artists – being cynical, I

Posted in Uncategorized

Thank you, Bill

Is it possible to call someone you have never met a friend? Probably not. Yet when I heard this week about the death of William Zinsser, someone I had ‘known’ through his books, the exchange of a few letters, a

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Posted in My Life, Reading and Writing, Sport

The mystery of the workhouse baby

The envelope contained a copy of the birth certificate of the first-born child of my great grandmother Elizabeth Coomber, nee Gasson, and instead of sorting out the mysteries surrounding this boy, it complicated them even more. Elizabeth is a key

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Posted in Uncategorized

Towering Views

A trip to photograph the Roll of Honour at St Paul’s Church, Shipley for my Shipley in World War I website turned into something of an adventure when I was invited to go up the tower. ‘First though, you must

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Posted in Yorkshire

Everyman’s (and woman’s) history

Sometimes I wish I still believed in the heaven of my childhood, where departed souls met up with old friends and family while keeping a benign eye on those below they once knew. It would be such fun right now

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Posted in History, Yorkshire